Farm life at Brynyrhydd Farm, Glasbury-on-Wye
Reflections on a farm boy's work in the 1920's - An Extract from George Hughes's Journal


Early Farm life at Brynyrhydd Farm, Glasbury on Wye.  by George Hughes ( pictured )

I don’t know when my father rented land from Mr Butcher at Penllan in Glasbury, but I remember helping him to drive sheep from Brynyrhydd over Glasbury bridge *1 when they were building the new bridge, I suppose from the age of about seven we had little jobs to do on the farm. I remember getting the cows in for milking and suckling calves. We helped to pick stones off the clover field and also did what we could in the hay harvest, such as turning the swathes of hay with a hand rake and making it into rows for the men to pitch onto the wagon. One job I hated was to watch the horses in the wagon whilst the men had their tea. When the corn harvest started the binder would cut and bind the corn and straw into sheaves which we helped to stack with four or six sheaves to a stack. The binder pulled by horses went around the field, but before it got to the middle we abandoned the stacking and went to run the rabbits which were in the uncut corn. Sometimes quite a lot were caught, but a lot got away. The stacks would be left out for about a week or ten days and were hauled to the barns where we helped to put it in the bays in the barn.
Another job in the autumn was following men with hooks trimming the hedges and cleaning up the hedge trimmings.
Picking cider apples was not a very nice job as it was in the late autumn and mostly very cold.
We had a lot of spare time which was spent playing and finding bird’s nests.
I think the hardest working people on the farm were mother and Cissy. Mother baked our bread, made butter, did the clothes washing and dried them on the hedge. Cissy did most of the house cleaning which was a lot with the size of our family. In winter we used to help feed the cattle which were in the sheds. We used to help cut chaffe and pulp Swedes for them.


Researched by Paul Greenow - ( with thanks to the Hughes family for allowing me to use an extract from their father’s journal. )

*1
George crossed the Glasbury Bridge in 1922 when he was seven years old and Cissy was his half sister. The bridge had just been rebuilt.